Best Practices

Erasmus+ Staff Mobility for Teaching

Insights into an Erasmus+ Staff Mobility for Teaching

International Design Week in Graz

Präsentation Workshop Workshop presentation

The International Design Week in Graz at the Institute of Design & Communication at FH JOANNEUM was colorful and creative. Under the theme "Mutate or Mute", guest lecturers from 12 partner universities from 8 countries, including Spain, Israel, Georgia and Mexico, were invited from May 5th to May 12th.


Gastdozenten  Guest lecturers from the 12 partner universities

The program included guest lectures and workshops for the 150 bachelor and master students of the institute. Prof. Melanie Beisswenger from the Media Design program worked with the students on the topic of metamorphosis in animation.

Regardless whether they were beginners in animation or already experienced, they created wonderful, serious as well as entertaining clips in stop motion, 2D and 3D animation. The students presented the results of all workshops to the public on the last day at the Kunsthaus Graz as part of the Design Month Graz 2023.

  foto_Mel und Renee   Prof. Melanie Beisswenger and student Renée Kerschbaumer


Further information can be found below, such as the FH JOANNEUM publication and a video of the event, created by the 2nd year Information Design students of FH JOANNEUM.

Erasmus+ Staff Mobility for Training

Do you speak English? - a Staff Mobility in Galway, Irland

Message in a Bottle from Portugal - 13th International Week at the Instituto Politécnico de Setúbal

IPS 2023_1 Staff Mobility IRO-CIMOB

From 26-30 June 2023, our partner university Instituto Politécnico de Setúbal in Portugal invited teachers, researchers and staff from the International Offices to the 13th International Week. As part of an Erasmus+ staff mobility, it was an opportunity for me to have a personal and constructive exchange with our colleagues from the International Office (CIMOB) there and mobility coordinators from the School of Education and the School of Business and Administration. Among the topics for discussion were: InterAct scholarships for IPS Incomings, presentation of a project proposal in the field of Entrepreneurship and international internships, an exchange on the positive experiences with Erasmus BIP's and especially the extension of the existing Erasmus agreement to the study programme Sport Management, which could be implemented immediately.

In addition to exciting lectures and networking with international and national colleagues, the intercultural exchange also included a visit to a winery with the tasting of regional specialities.

My conclusion: staff mobility is not just about "thinking outside the box". The personal exchange with international colleagues contributes to the expansion and consolidation of cooperation, simplifies all processes and is a personal enrichment.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all my IPS colleagues for their warm welcome and support!

Faculty of Computer Science

Excursion to the Festival de Robotique in Cachan (Paris)


After a break of two years due to Covid, the Faculty of Computer Science was again able to go on an excursion to Cachan (Paris) from 08.06-12.06.2022 and participate in the Festival de Robotique de Cachan with three Ostfalia teams.  


The task of the competition was to program a robot according to the rules of the children's game "Who's afraid of the bogeyman?“. The robot needed to go from one side of the playing field to the other side without being caught by or bumped into other robots within the time limit of 3 days and 2 nights.

The festival provided everything from the robot to the electronics to the control board and its standard libraries. It was up to the students to find the necessary extensions online and implement them to operate the robot's sensors. The robot could not be tested with the new components in time due to the late delivery of electronic components, so the participants could not start setting up the programming environment until the evening of the 1st day of the competition.

Bild_3_Robotik-Festival _Cachan 2022

The second day of the competition was dedicated exclusively to the camera and the movement of the robot. The Ostfalia teams were able to fix the basic problem and guide the robot across the finish line.

Bild_4_Robotik-Festival _Cachan 2022

The competition ended on 11.06.22. Due to the unforeseeable delays, all participants were awarded a medal.

The Faculty of Computer Science is planning to participate again in the Robotics Festival in June 2023 with several teams and has assured the colleagues in Cachan of its support in finding ideas and programming the robots.

Bild_5_Robotik-Festival _Cachan 2022

Faculty of Mechanical Engineering

Presentation of current research results at CIRP Design 2023

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Carsten Stechert Panel lecture by Prof. Dr.-Ing. Carsten Stechert

Three days before the start of the CIRP Design 2023 conference in Sydney, the journey for Prof. Dr.- Ing. Carsten Stechert, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, began: from Braunschweig he took a train to Hamburg and then a flight via Dubai.

The conference started on the 17th of May 2023 on the campus of the University of New South Wales and included various keynote lectures as well as a networking event. This gave Prof. Stechert the opportunity to cultivate contacts and exchange ideas with colleagues from abroad, such as the USA and South Africa.

On the following two conference days, Prof. Stechert was able to present his contributions to his research group and receive feedback. He also took part in other lectures, while using the breaks and the conference dinner for in-depth discussions.

In addition to concrete suggestions for Prof. Stechert's research results (e.g. the usability test for augmented reality experiences), other ideas for completely new research projects and forms of international cooperation also emerged.

The conference ended on the 19th of May 2023 with many new impressions and the promising possibility of new future collaborations in an international framework. 

Eindrücke der CIRP Design 2023

Impressions of the CIRP Design 2023

Faculty of Media

International excursion 2022 to Spain

From the 9th to 13th of May 2022, after a long Covid break, a total of 20 students from the Media Management (B.A.), Media Communication (B.A.) and Communication Management (M.A.) studies took part in the excursion to Seville and visited two of our partner universities: the Centro Universitario EUSA and the Universidad de Sevilla. In addition, five films were produced under the direction of Professor Andreas Kölmel and his staff Tonio Vakalopoulos (M.Sc.) and Daria Brakmann (B.A.).

In a final get-together, Ostfalia students and lecturers were able to network with the international students and colleagues. Through this, opportunities opened for the film production through the Spanish universities and students as contacts.

In teams, the students produced films on the topics of flamenco dance, nature and architecture of Seville, film locations in Seville, culinary delights in Andalusia as well as a film about the excursion itself (see above). The students' films will be published on Ostfalia's journalistic platform Campus38 in August and onwards.

Because of the excursion, several participants have decided to complete their 5th semester abroad, in some cases at the partner universities they visited.

Faculty of Law

"Around 500 participants from all over the world and three prizes went to students of our faculty - this is the successful end result of the Model United Nations conference that held place in Rome from 26 th of February to 1 st of March. The BELS travelled to the eternal city with 20 students to conclude the elective course "Model UN", where the knowledge acquired theoretically earlier in the semester could be tried out practically for the first time." (Barnstorf, p. 2023)

You can find the full report here.

This project is an internationalisation action that was co-financed by the Ostfalia Internationalisation Working Group.

Faculty of Social Work

Excursion to Poland 2024


Gruppenbild Lodz

This excursion focuses on promoting international relations through the exchange of students and lecturers. Specifically, students gain an insight into social institutions and, in collaboration with fellow students from England and Poland, can make interstate comparisons of social fields of work and approaches. This initiative includes the establishment and maintenance of partnerships with the University of Lodz and Liverpool John Moore's University.

The journey began on the 18th of March 2024 at the train station in Braunschweig, where the students gathered for their trip to Poland. Despite a slight delay in the train, they used the time to get to know each other and share their anticipation for the journey. When the train finally arrived, they made their way to Lodz Kaliska.

After arriving in Lodz, they continued on their way to the hostel, which was located in the lively Piotrkowska Street. Once there, they spent the evening relaxing and looking forward to the days ahead.


The next day, their programme began with a guided tour of Lodz, during which they explored the city's historical and cultural sights. They visited the Manufaktura shopping and cultural centre, the Piotrkowska district and the Botanical Garden. During the day, they also had the opportunity to talk to local residents and learn more about everyday life in Lodz.

In the afternoon, the programme included a movie. The students watched ‘Sorry we missed you’, followed by a discussion on the film's themes led by the Polish students from the University of Lodz. The discussion was intense and helped to deepen the students' understanding of the social and economic challenges in Poland.


On Wednesday, the students visited the Marek Edelmann Dialogue Centre and the Survivors Park, where they learned more about Jewish history and culture in Lodz. In the afternoon, they met again with Polish and English students to discuss the topic of supervision and exchange experiences.


On Thursday, the students took time to reflect on their experiences from the previous days and record their findings on flipcharts. Some of them visited the Living Library, a project designed to break down prejudices and bring people from different backgrounds together.

On Friday, they went on a trip to Warsaw, where they visited the Warsaw Uprising Museum and explored the historic city centre. In the evening, they returned to Lodz and spent time together in the hostel before travelling back the next day.

On Saturday, the students met in front of the hostel to start their return journey. During the train ride, they reflected on their experiences and planned their next steps for their academic achievements related to the excursion. After arriving in Braunschweig, they said goodbye to each other and took the final steps home, full of memories and newfound knowledge.


Excursion to South Africa 2023

  Gruppenbild Nelson Mandela University Group photo in front of Nelson Mandela University

From November the 28th to December the 6th 2023, Prof. Dr Ludger Kolhoff and 20 students from the Faculty of Social Work visited Gqeberha/ Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape in South Africa.

The programme included visits to the following institutions and organisations:

  • The Missionvale Care Centre and the Ithemba Special Day Care Centre in Missionvale Township.
  • The Nelson Mandela University.
  • Port Elizabeth Mental Health.
  • A Disabled Community Project in Walmer Township.
  • The organisations Masifunde, Association for Persons with Physical Disabilities, Ray Mhlaba Skills Training Centre and Siyaya Skills Institute.
  • The Gem Project.
  • A visit to Addo Elephant Park rounded off the programme.


Besuch im Addo Elephant Park
visit to Addo Elephant Park


The excursion started on November the 28th 2023 with a flight from Frankfurt to Port Elizabeth via Cape Town. On November the 30th 2023, the group visited the Missionvale Township, which is dominated by extreme poverty. There they gained an insight into the work of the Missionvale Care Centre, which provides basic care and education for the residents. A special motto of the centre is "Do something and you will get help", which emphasises the community-based approach. The group also visited the Ithemba Special Day Care Centre, which looks after children with disabilities and impairments in the township. On the same day, they also had the opportunity to visit the Nelson Mandela University, where they received an introduction to social work in South Africa from Professor Soji and Doctor Mansvelt. There were discussions about educational challenges, unemployment and crime in the country. The day ended with a visit to the Port Elizabeth Mental Health Centre, where the group gained insights into mental health care.



On December 1st 2023, the programme focused on projects for people with disabilities. The group visited a self-help project in Walmer Township and made a donation there. They then went to the Association for Persons with Physical Disabilities (APD), which helps people with disabilities to integrate into the labour market. On December 2nd 2023, the group visited the Masifunde facility in Walmer Township, which focuses on childcare, education and employment promotion. The students were warmly welcomed and experienced the work of Masifunde at first hand.

On December 3rd 2023, the programme included a visit to Addo National Park, where the students had the opportunity to see various animal species, including elephants, up close. On December 4th 2023, the group visited various facilities for the vocational qualification and social development of disadvantaged young people. They visited the Ray Mhlaba Skills Training Centre and the Siyaya Skills Institute, where they gained insights into the training programmes for unemployed young people. Finally, they visited the Gem Project, a non-profit organisation that offers rehabilitation and stabilisation programmes for children and young people from the townships.

The excursion ended on December 5th and 6th 2023 with the return flight from Port Elizabeth via Johannesburg to Frankfurt.

The excursion led to a wide range of outcomes:

  1. Increased understanding and intercultural sensitivity: students gained in-depth insights into life in South Africa, particularly in the townships of Port Elizabeth. This deepened their understanding of global social challenges and strengthened their sensitivity to cultural diversity.
  2. Practical insights into social work: Through direct visits to various organisations, the students gained practical insights into the diverse fields of social work. They were able to observe how theoretical concepts are applied in practice and the challenges that can arise.
  3. Personal and professional development: The direct interaction with local people helped the students to improve their communication skills and strengthen their empathy and critical thinking. These experiences are likely to influence their future work in social work and strengthen their skills as professionals.
  4. Building partnerships and networks: The excursion provided opportunities for partnership building and exchange with South African social work organisations and educational institutions.
  5. Enrichment of the academic curriculum: The gained experiences could be integrated into the faculty's academic curriculum to provide similar enriching learning experiences for future students. This could further develop the curriculum and strengthen the international orientation of the degree programme.


Overall, the excursion to South Africa not only expanded the knowledge and skills of the participating students, but also made a positive contribution to the global perspective and social responsibility of Ostfalia and its Faculty of Social Work.

Excursion to Poland 2023

Exkursion Polen 2023

From 06.03.2023 to 10.03.2023 an excursion of the Faculty of Social Work under the direction of Prof. Jürgen Boeckh to Lodz, Poland took place. The student exchange served to promote international relations and intended to give the students an insight into the social institutions of the partner university in Lodz. Furthermore, the students of the Faculty of Social Work were able to compare the social field of work between the countries from their fellow English and Polish students from the universities "University of Lodz" and "John Moore's University Liverpool".

The trip took place within the framework of Module 14: "Interculturality, Internationalisation, Gender and Diversity" and thought the students selected learning content and promoted the adaptability of the students.


The students took advantage of the opportunity to exchange ideas with fellow students from the partner university in England on the very first evening and quickly got to know each other.

During the excursion, many different points were on the programme. On day 2, the fellow Polish students welcomed the Ostfalia students at the University of Lodz and were able to take part in numerous games to get to know each other before a guided tour of the city with Ms Krzysztof Olkusz followed.


The Manafaktura Museum was also visited and showed the participants the changes in the city of Lodz. For example, Izrael Poznanski transformed a former textile factory into a present-day shopping and experience centre.



The next day, the students were able to attend a lecture on the history of Lodz at the office of the "Fabryka Aktywności Miejskiej" followed by a presentation of the institution's social projects. These projects aim to support the residents after the closure of the Manafaktura and the resulting unemployment and poverty. Among other things, these projects, such as the Local Activity Centre, are aimed at senior citizens or also offer children a therapy opportunity, tuition assistance or a warm meal.


In the afternoon of the third day, the participants visited the memorial "Centrum Dialogu Im”. Marka Edelmania" and listened to a lecture about Marek Edelmann (1919 - 2009), who stood up against the Nazi regime of the time and fought for justice for minorities. This was followed by a guided tour through a closeby park, which serves as a memorial for the victims of that time.



A reflection on the excursion and the students' experiences took place on the last day before the return journey. It provided interesting conversations and personal insights through the contributions of both student participants and lecturers, and offered a nice conclusion to an eventful excursion.

Facutly of Supply Engineering

International Conference for Sustainable Globalisation in Kerala

Fakultät_V Presentation of Dr. agr. Hedda Sander

The 5th International Conference for Sustainable Globalisation took place from January 7th to 10th in Kerala, India.

The conference was organized by Dr. Abey Kuruvilla (University of Wisconsin at Parkside) as Program Chair, Dr. Robinet Jacob (Mahatma Gandhi University, Kerala, India) as organizational chair and Dr. Hedda Sander (Ostfalia University, Faculty of Supply Engineering and Center of Scientific, Interdisciplinary Risk and Sustainability Management) as review chair. The first days were filled with sessions in four tracks headed under the topics of education, innovation and entrepreneurship, tourism and economy and sustainability, environment and risk management.

The special characteristic of the conference is to allow participants not only from scientific background, but also from the area of entrepreneuship and administration to exchange views and develop solutions for challenges resulting from development towards a more sustainable world. This approach has allowed for start ups to develop in the past like the student mobility app ‚Abroad‘ or networking and best practice exchange between communities towards perceived challenges within the environmental field.

Ostfalia presented two presentations within the educational and sutstainability track.
The first contribution within the educational track ‚Chemification: A new gaming tool for student learning in natural sciences‘ by Dr.Hedda Sander, Frederic Körner, Phil Kühnholz and Rebecca Gustke presented a gamification option for young students within the STEM area. The input, a project supported by the Foundation Innovation in Higher Education (Stiftung Innovation in der Hochschullehre) dealt with student motivation using the media and gaming affinity of the digital native generation and was recieved with great interest, workshops with international participation from the USA and India for different areas of teaching will follow.

The second presentation within the sustainability track on ‚Cost of Climate Change: Financial Consequences for Fisheries, Tourism and Prevention Measures as assessed via Environmental Monitoring‘ by Dr. Hedda Sander, Phil Kühnholz and Frederic Körner dealt with the consequences of climate change in the areas of public health, tourism and fisheries for water quality and harmful algal bloom incidence, a topic common around the globe.

We look forward to the 6th International Conference for Sustainable Globalisation in January 2024, save the date.

Central facilities

Human Based International Relations - Staff Training Programme

231128_Bericht-Valencia Group Photo Universidad Politécnica de Valencia

This year at the end of October, I took part in a training programme at our partner university, the Universidad Politécnica de Valencia. The decision to take part in this workshop came about because we are currently working together in the International Office and in the area of knowledge and technology transfer in the "InterAct! - International Activities" project (funding programme HAW.International, Module A of the DAAD), in which the aim is to improve Ostfalia's international presence and international exchanges.

Nowadays, technology facilitates internationalisation, speeds up contact and optimises some processes. However, it is important not to lose sight of the fact that behind all this, there is always the human aspect. We need to be able to think about how important interpersonal relationships are and how they affect our work.

The training programme in Valencia was called Human Based International Relations and was undoubtedly an enriching experience, both professionally and personally. The objectives of the workshop were to strengthen communication, creativity and teamwork by solving interactive challenges on topics that were not related to our daily work. "Thinking out of the box!"

Although the course was mainly aimed at international office workers, it was also accessible to anyone interested in internationalisation and living together with people from different cultures.


Insights into the seminar of Paula Casells

Participants came from universities such as the University of Technology of Lodz (Poland), KTH Royal Institute of Stockholm (Sweden), The Hague University of Applied Sciences (Netherlands), FAU Erlangen-Nuremberg (Germany), Estonian University of Life Sciences of Tartu (Estonia), University of West Bohemia of Pilsen (Czech Republic), Budapest Metropolitan University (Hungary), etc.

Paula Casells, Eduardo Blasco and Claudio Benavent from the Faculties of Architecture, Computer Science and Agronomy were the people who worked directly with us. Eduardo made it possible for us to get to know the Valencian culture, traditions, history and way of thinking of the locals.

Paula's seminar covered topics on how to improve the participants' socio-cultural, leadership and project management skills, and Claudio discussed applied aspects of communication and working in an international relations office. Each of them contributed with their knowledge, their passion for their profession, their culture and their undeniable humanity to make our time in Valencia an unforgettable experience.

Gruppenbild Valencia Group Photo of the seminar

Internationalisation is becoming an increasingly important feature for higher education institutions as it enriches learning through different influences and ways of thinking, strengthens research and encourages the development of new projects. This participation strengthened our existing relationships and provided the opportunity to forge new links.



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